From CNN: Thirteen-year-old April Ajoy had a sense something wasn’t right. It was quiet in her Dallas house. Too quiet. Her brothers were gone. Her parents were gone. On her parents’ bed, a pile of her mother’s clothes signaled something terrifying.
Ajoy’s mind began churning, trying to remember, trying to make plans. When was the last time she had sinned? Should she refuse the mark of the beast? At least, she thought, if she was put to the guillotine during the time of tribulation, it would be a quick death.
You can see that making your young, probably innocent daughter, terrified of being guillotined is probably not a best parenting practice. But the Rapture can happen at any time, and almost any sin can disqualify a young girl from being sucked up into Heaven by the Roomba of God’s love. What offenses against the Lord were racing through April’s mind as she struggled with the possibility that everyone she knew, except herself, had been popped off the surface of the earth like they were blessed kernels of Orville Redenbacher’s? Had that momentary burst of lust she felt when her phone accidentally exposed her to the latest Korean boy-band video disqualified her from eternal life? Or was it that tiny twinge of affection she felt for Snitty Hanson, the cutest boy in her Zoom Communion class?
April thought she had begged for God’s forgiveness abjectly enough for both these offenses, but to her horror, her bleak solitude said otherwise. Little did she know that her mother had merely gone to a fellow Christian wife’s house for a chaste afternoon of wearing modest clothing and baking pies, and her father was raising a barn and thinking about eating pie afterwards, and her brothers had not left the house at all, but had instead found private corners in which to masturbate, which young Evangelical men have to do even more stealthily than regular young guys.
Imagine her relief when she spotted her brother returning the box of Kleenex to its usual spot in the bathroom. Still, she could not be entirely sure that the Rapture had not happened until her dad came home, smelling of sawdust and her mother returned, reeking of pie, and also yelling at her for not doing the pile of laundry she had left on the bed.
I want to tell April that I know someone who felt a similar pain. It was the love of my life, who once came upon an empty chair with an empty pair of my shorts on it, and thought briefly I might have been blown aloft into the company of angels. You can read about her reaction here.
Her disappointment was far less than April’s, though, because she’s Jewish and immune from the Rapture. There was no pressure on her to regret her sins, because no matter how few they might be, Jesus is not beaming her up into bliss. She was a little upset when I returned and told her that. When God is sucking up the saved souls of Earth like they were a Big Gulp, even when He comes to the end of His list, and His divine straw is making that slurping sound on the bottom of the cup, no Jews are going to be included.
Hey, I don’t make the rules.
But before she texted me, asking where the hell I was, she did wonder if I had made coffee before God had whacked me into eternity with the pickleball racket of His love, and saw that I had.
And she saw that it was good.